Winter solstice is here, now the days will begin to get longer, even though the winter has just begun. That is some comfort! Here are a few scenes of winter, if you could even call it winter here, which is a joke to many who must contend with snow, ice and frozen snot-cicles. I count myself fortunate that I no longer suffer from those, and yet my hands still get cold! Such suffering! I got a pair of bum glove/mitts for that, with a mitten that flaps over the open glove fingers, thus allowing the use of a camera without exposing one’s entire hand to the frigid air.
My Annual Christmas Poem
Winter rain turns into snow
Off to the clothing shop I go
Tables piled high with ware
Jackets, scarves and warm hats there
Gloves and mittens for my hands
Flannel shirts from foreign lands
Shop clerk sporting Santa hat
Offers help with this and that
But my needs are few so I
Quickly pass all those things by
What I need hangs on the wall
Ten feet wide by six feet tall
Dangling folded up on hooks
Many sizes, colours, looks
Christmas day inside a box
Can you guess? Grey wool socks!
horse in woolys
there was ice, briefly – puzzling the ducks
random acts of Xmas decoration in the forest
the nutcracker found this mesmerizing
only in winter do we get Hooded Mergansers
Bare trees wave at crystalline sunlight
Icy crunch underfoot detritus rots
Unseen birds chirp at clouds open closing
Cold nose coughing hacking sneezing
Hands in pockets freezing
Hawk and owl sightings sporadically pleasing
Darkness falling early, toiling, holiday yearning
Christmas, New Year beckons hope of sun returning
A few more for your viewing pleasure:
THE WOOLLY BEAR
It has been a lean October for birds. Neither hawk nor owl nor woodpecker to be seen, but banded woolly bears are here. Not real bears, mind you. Circumnavigations of the lake provide numerous encounters with slow moving fuzzy caterpillars. A Google image search turned up only that this picture was of an invertebrate.
However, a search on the words “fuzzy brown and black caterpillar” turned up exactly what it was:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pyrrharctia isabella (Isabella tiger moth) can be found in many cold regions, including the Arctic [needs citation]. The banded woolly bear larva emerges from the egg in the fall and overwinters in its caterpillar form, when it freezes solid. It survives being frozen by producing a cryoprotectant in its tissues. In the spring it thaws out and emerges to pupate. Once it emerges from its pupa as a moth it has only days to find a mate.
In most temperate climates, caterpillars become moths within months of hatching, but in the Arctic the summer period for vegetative growth – and hence feeding – is so short that the Woolly Bear must feed for several summers, freezing again each winter before finally pupating. Some are known to live through as many as 14 winters.
I am so orange
American friends, the solution to your dilemma is at hand!
Yesterday we closed the office here at Nathanguitars, due to various pressing issues:
- the Westy had to go in for a new water pump ($600)
- we needed new material for our ongoing series of watercolour sketches (see sketch below)
- my son and I went fishing (no luck)
- there was nothing else to do (???)
sketch #1 – June 27/16
Today is more of the same, only I don’t know yet just what that will be precisely. However, directly after breakfast we began a short series of poems typed on index cards: